FIA grills Asad Toor in hours-long anti-judiciary campaign probe

APP | Shakeel Anjum
February 24, 2024

JIT finds Asad Toor and Imran Riaz involved in trolling SC judges, mainly CJP Qazi Faez Isa

Blogger Asad Ali Toor. — X/MirHamzaBaloch_

ISLAMABAD: Blogger Asad Ali Toor was interrogated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for hours in an inquiry related to the social media campaign maligning thesuperior judiciaryafter the Supreme Court gave a verdict on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) 'bat' symbol, The News reported Saturday.

A five-member joint investigation team (JIT) of the FIA has beenconducting an inquiry to ascertain the facts behind an ongoing "malicious" campaign against the honourable judges of the apex court.

The JIT found that two bloggers —Asad Ali Toor and Imran Riaz — were involved in trolling judges of the apex court, mainly Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, JIT sources said on Friday.

“Asad Toor was rounded up for investigation on Friday and his statement was recorded about his motives behind the malicious campaign against the judges,” the sources said, adding that the journalist remained with the JIT at the FIA (Cybercrime Wing), along with his counsel and human rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir.

She posted on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, saying that Toor and his legal team left the FIA Friday evening after his detention the same morning at 10:50am.

“Imran Riaz has also been summoned by the JIT to join the course of the inquiry and to clear his position, but he is already in the custody of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) in a case lodged against him by the ACE,” the sources maintained, adding that Riaz would be taken into custody after the ACE completed their inquiry against him.

The authorities have reduced the duration of the course of the inquiry from 15 days to 7 days, and the JIT would complete it, possibly, on February 28, they said.

The JIT was tasked with investigating mainly three specific matters. Firstly, to ascertain facts behind the malicious social media campaign to tarnish the image of the honourable judges of the SC; second, to identify and bring the culprits to book under the relevant laws and get challans presented to the relevant courts; and finally to recommend measures for the prevention of such incidents in future, the sources said.

On Friday, a local court sent blogger and anchorperson Riaz to jail on judicial remand in a case of acquiring the Tharabi Lake contract at a reduced price.

Earlier, the Anti Corruption Establishment (ACE) Punjab produced the blogger before Judicial Magistrate Imran Abid in district courts and requested a 14-day physical remand for investigations.

However, Riaz’s counsel argued that the case was registered in violation of the law, as no evidence was available to prove the charges.

The court, after hearing detailed arguments of the parties, reserved its judgment on the remand plea for a short while. Later, the court, announcing the reserved verdict, turned down the plea for physical remand and sent the anchorperson to jail on judicial remand.

The ACE Punjab had accused Riaz and his father of acquiring the Tharabi Lake contract at a significantly reduced price.


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